• Karen McPhail, RN, MSN

To Gift Now or Later - Creating Positive Memories for Others

The winter holiday season has about come to a close, but gift giving is still something that we do routinely throughout the year- birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays are times when we often struggle to find the perfect gift to give a loved one! At least I often do!

In doing long term care planning I discuss many areas with my clients including personal possessions. I often encourage and assist them in completing an inventory of items and in beginning to make decisions on future gifting. I also strongly encourage mechanisms for creating positive moments for those loved ones who are left behind - by considering some early gifting. Instead of waiting to gift many items that you are not using, why not begin gifting these items now. The advantage of this is that you can see and experience first hand an individuals joy when receiving the item and even be able to take part in enjoying items gifted along with them. For example, one of my clients gifted a crystal bowl to her daughter in September for her birthday. She recently sent me a message saying how happy she was to see it being used as a part of the holiday centerpiece this year! Her daughter even took a moment to remark to everyone on how much more special the table looked this year thanks to her! Creating these positive moments and memories for other is so important and if possible should be done. I am always sad to see those overcome with grief locking away items left to them after someones passing. Sometimes the items become a reminder of their loss and are simply too painful to use. I know that personally I am still unable to wear jewelry that was left to me by one of my loved ones after her passing.

So if you are looking at a bunch of items you no longer use or need in a display case or are beginning to declutter - think about how you can perhaps bring yourself and your loved ones positive memories and moments of lasting joy through early gifting. Reflecting back to a time of happiness when receiving is truly a gift and often times much better in my experience than receiving later and thus having these possessions linked to a time of loss and grief.

However, gifting is something that requires great consideration and each individual needs to consider what will truly be best for them clearly based on their circumstances.

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